News

U.S. names Conn. official to lead Obamacare marketplace

U.S. names Conn. official to lead Obamacare marketplace

Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday named the head of Connecticut’s state health exchange, Kevin Counihan, to oversee the federal marketplace that provides subsidized private health insurance to consumers in 36 states under Obamacare.

In a move that administration officials billed as an effort to bring new accountability to the federal operation, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced that Counihan would oversee federal marketplace operations as well as insurance regulation in the new post of chief executive officer.

His appointment comes less than a year after the botched rollout of the federal marketplace enrollment portal, HealthCare.gov, which crashed during its launch on Oct. 1, 2013, plunging President Barack Obama’s healthcare law into a political crisis for months.

By contrast, Counihan oversaw the successful launch of the Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, Access Health CT. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the state has seen its uninsured rate fall to 4.0 percent from 7.9 percent since 2012.

Fourteen states, including Connecticut, operate their own health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. HHS said nine states have contacted Connecticut about using its technology.

“We are committed to instilling ongoing accountability for reaching milestones, measuring results and ensuring a successful open enrollment period,” Burwell said in a statement issued by HHS.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Global life expectancy rises, but people live sicker for longer

21-overlay13

General health has improved worldwide, thanks to significant progress against infectious diseases and gains in fighting maternal and child illnesses.

in National

When Congress returns from vacation, budget fight looms

congressmcconnell

The U.S. Congress will soon embark on a high-stakes budget negotiation with President Barack Obama that, if productive, could give Republicans the increased military spending they want and Democrats the increased domestic spending they seek.

in National

Christmas in August: Walmart’s holiday layaway comes early

walmart

It's the latest sign of retailers getting more aggressive about grabbing holiday shoppers early.

in Sports

Looking to future, more NCAA athletes seek own trademarks

ncaa

Some big stars in college football are getting trademarks for their names, nicknames and taglines.

in Sports

This football MVP is a real ‘dummy’

12-overlay12

Dartmouth football’s new MVP is a remote controlled Mobile Virtual Player designed to allow athletes to practice tackling with fewer injuries.